New truck registrations fall for fifth quarter in a row


The SMMT has warned of a “fall in operator confidence” after new truck registrations slid for the fifth consecutive quarter.

In July, August and September 2018 some 9,853 new trucks at 6 tonnes and above were registered, down 7% based on the third quarter in 2017. It means that for the first nine months of this year overall registrations are down 7.5% to 30,308 compared to the first three quarters in 2017.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the SMMT, said: “While fluctuating fleet buying cycles are a natural feature of the HGV market, given this quarter marks the fifth consecutive decline, there is no doubt that a fall in operator confidence is having an impact on registrations of these big ticket purchases.

"Government must address the current economic and political uncertainty if we are to get more of these high-tech, ultra-low emission vehicles on to our roads, and to ensure the sector can prosper.”

Rigids dropped the most in Q3 2018, down 9.8% with 5,606 units registered. Rigids above 16 tonne GVW weight were the worst performing vehicles in the market, down 11.9% year-on-year to 3,498 units. Registrations of rigids between 6 tonne GVW and 16 tonne GVW were down 6% to 2,108 units.

The artic market didn’t fair much better with 3-axle artics down 4.6% year-on-year to 3,717 units registered. The two-axle variant – predominantly a specialist vehicle for international transport – was the only category to see a rise, up 9.1% albeit to 529 units.

Overall registrations of rigids are down 9.9% year-on-year to 17,523 units, while artic registrations are down 4.1% to 12,782 units (see full data below, courtesy of the SMMT).

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DAF retains its streak at the top spot with a 27% market share in Q3, registering 2,662 units. Scania is second – and its range only starts at 16t giving it a regular disadvantage in the SMMT rankings – with a 15.6% share and 1,537 units registered.

Volvo ranked third in Q3 2018 with 1,334 units registered: its lead over Mercedes-Benz was just 8 units, as the three-pointed star registered 1,326 vehicles. Both had a market share of 13.5%.

MAN’s resurgence continued: its third quarter in 2018 was up 42.5% year-on-year as it hit 1,049 units registered. Iveco’s third quarter dropped 8.2% year-on-year to 872 units, and Renault registered 494 units, compared to 511 a year ago.

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Top-spec Mercedes Gigaspace graces Euro Commercials demo fleet

Euro Commercials

Mercedes-Benz dealer Euro Commercials has put a top-spec Mercedes-Benz Actros 2563 GigaSpace on its demonstrator fleet.

Powered by a 15.6-litre straight-6, which produces 620hp, the Actros is also fitted with a considerable amount of options including the fuel-saving Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) and a Mercedes-Benz Safety Pack that features Active Brake Assist 4 that includes pedestrian recognition capability, as well as Proximity Control Assist.

Jaga Brothers Transport was the first operator to put the new GigaSpace to use on its steel and brick-carrying work. The haulier operates a fleet of 40 tractor units, with four different manufacturers in the yard, seven of which are current Actros.

“We ran the Actros for a couple of weeks and the feedback from our drivers was overwhelmingly positive,” said Jaga Brothers transport manager James Hill. “One driver loved its big, spacious and well-appointed cab, while the other driver was blown away by its pulling power.

“The Actros returned more than 9mpg most of the time, which is bound to improve as it gets more miles under its belt and settles down.”

Euro Commercials truck sales manager Gary Clark said: “Not many dealers would be prepared to put such a highly specified vehicle on their demonstration fleet, but at Euro Commercials we like to think outside the box. There’s a relatively small, tight-knit tractor unit community here in south Wales, and we’re looking forward to giving as many of them as possible the opportunity to put the latest Mercedes technology to the test.”